A Novel Approach to Evaluate Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment Outcomes Using Pattern Identification

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
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Journal Article
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2010, 16 (4), pp. 357 - 367
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Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a modem interpretation of Chinese medicine, developed in the 1950s. It differentiates biomedical diseases into patterns. Each pattern comprises symptom/signs that have their own unique treatment protocol. Most TCM research has used fixed formula treatments for Western-defined diseases with outcomes often measured using objective biomedical markers. More recently, a number of trials have attempted to accommodate TCM clinical practice within the framework of rigorous evidence-based medical research. The aim of this article is to describe a novel outcome measure based on TCM patterns that was used in a pilot study for people with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Methods: Sixteen (16) participants with HCV were enrolled in a randomized, controlled pilot study and allocated to a treatment or control group. TCM pattern diagnosis was obtained at baseline and used to guide acupuncture treatment for the treatment group. Each individual's primary, secondary, and tertiary TCM patterns were identified, which involved the systematic evaluation of the participant's infonnation against the TCM patterns and conversion of the pattern to a percentage. Baseline and postintervention percentages for the three rCM patterns for the two groups were compared to assess change.
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